Anglers encouraged to stay safe on the ice this winter

Archived Release

Anglers encouraged to stay safe on the ice this winter

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Take Precautions, Stay Aware And Stay Alive TORONTO, Dec. 30 - With another ice fishing season under way, Natural Resources Minister David Ramsay encourages winter anglers to make personal safety a priority. "Ice fishing is a terrific way to get outside and enjoy winter, but anglers need to exercise common sense," said Ramsay. "Ice conditions can be deceptive and vary from location to location, so take precautions and when in doubt stay off the ice." Always check ice conditions with local ice hut operators before venturing out onto a frozen lake. It's also a good idea to let others know where you're planning to fish and when you plan to return. Appropriate dress and equipment are key to safety and comfort. Many anglers wear floater suits and carry a set of ice picks. Other important ice facts: - Ice does not freeze at a uniform thickness across most lakes and rivers. Check thickness regularly with a spud bar or auger as you go. - Not all ice is created equal. Ice that has formed over flowing water, springs, pressure cracks, old ice holes or around the mouths of rivers and streams can be weaker than surrounding ice. - Clear blue ice is the strongest. White or opaque ice is much weaker (thickness levels should be doubled). Ice that has a honeycombed look, common during thaws or in the spring, should be avoided altogether. - Travelling on frozen lakes or rivers with snowmobiles or vehicles can be particularly dangerous and added precautions must be taken. At least 20 cm (eight inches) of clear blue ice is required for snowmobiles and 30 cm (12 inches) or more is needed for most light vehicles. Disponible en fran├žais www.mnr.gov.on.caFor further information: Contacts: Media Calls Only: Ginette Albert, Minister's Office, (416) 314-2212; Wil Wegman, Ministry of Natural Resources, (905) 713-7730